Re: Invoke or Use

Subject: Re: Invoke or Use
From: Glen Accardo <glen -at- SOFTINT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 1994 09:04:43 -0600

> I'm a software documentation specialist. In my place of work, we have started
> a little debate over the terms "invoke" and "use." One of my esteemed

Ah. An issue close to my heart for a Monday morning.

If you are documenting VAX software, the terms are invoke, execute, and
run. (It's been a few years, someone correct me if I'm wrong on those.)
They are NOT synonymous. Each has to do with a particular type of
thing which can be run -- a .COM, .EXE, and something else, I think a
link procedure.

In the land of GUIs, if I want to talk about bringing a program from a
state of not running to a state of running, I use the words "start" or
"run." I prefer start because I don't want to mention the end of a program
which should probably remain running throughout whatever process I'm

If a particular program is part of a process which a user must
perform, I say "use" the program. This implies that if the program isn't
running, they must start it, and it also generally implies that the
documentation for the program is somewhere else.

For example:

1. Before running SQLASSIST, start MS Windows. (I would accept several
words as synonyms of start.)
2. Use the Customize Utility to build the cache file. (This sentence lives
in a set of instructions
about another feature --
not cache files in

glen accardo glen -at- softint -dot- com
Software Interfaces, Inc. (713) 492-0707 x122
Houston, TX 77084

Did the Corinthians ever write back?

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